When it comes to history and the arts, Westminster offers several gems worthy of a trip to this Upcountry city.
Proud of its heritage, Westminster shows off its small-town roots in the General Store Museum on Main Street. Part of the Oconee History Museum, the exhibit hall features an extensive collection of merchandise dating back a hundred years from the original England’s General Merchandise store that opened in 1908, selling everything from the Flymo hover mower to saddle shoes and shoe polish.
Just down the block is Westminster Music Centre, a performance venue for regional bands, musicians and singers. With just 250 seats and a professionally designed music system, it provides an intimate setting to enjoy live music the way it was meant to be—up close and personal. Concessions include light snacks and beer and wine.
For those who enjoy the visual arts, there’s Gateway Arts Center, offering painting and craft classes for adults and children as well as a gallery. Each year, the arts center hosts juried and member shows and special exhibitions on an array of themes, from “City vs Country” to “Abstraction vs Realism.”
This Upcountry community also knows how to have fun. It planned its first South Carolina Bigfoot Festival for October 2020, with a lineup of eight expert speakers, including Oconee County resident Melissa George, a paranormal author and blogger by day and ghost and cryptid hunter by night. Another area native, Scott Phillips will lead a Bigfoot Research Outing in search of the legendary ape-like beast believed to roam the mountainside.
Events include a 5K Squatch Stroll, Bigfoot tales, “Bigfoot” movie showings and lots of Bigfoot-themed competitions, from costume to calling contests. And since it’s a festival, there also will be live music, food and craft vendors, and children’s activities.